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NFL owners discuss Commanders sale, Daniel Snyder at committee meeting

Commanders owners Tanya and Daniel Snyder were on the field before an October game against the Cowboys in Arlington, Tex. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)
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PALM BEACH, Fla. — The NFL’s team owners discussed the potential sale of the Washington Commanders and other issues regarding owner Daniel Snyder at two days of committee meetings that concluded here Tuesday but made no decisions about the prospect of taking a vote to remove him from ownership if he refuses to sell his franchise, three people with knowledge of the conversations said.

Some owners emerged from the meetings still hopeful that Snyder will agree to sell the Commanders without a vote to force a sale, said those people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the confidentiality of the bidding and the possibility of an eventual legal conflict with Snyder. Other owners apparently were not as optimistic about that prospect.

Tanya Snyder, Daniel’s wife and the franchise’s co-CEO, attended the meetings at a Palm Beach resort, two people who participated in the meetings said. She has represented the Commanders at league meetings since July 2021, when the NFL announced she would oversee the franchise’s day-to-day operations for an unspecified period, following attorney Beth Wilkinson’s investigation of the team’s workplace.

Tanya Snyder attended the meetings of committees to which she is assigned, those people said. There was no indication that she addressed fellow owners about issues related to the Commanders and the prospective sale.

Commanders sale teeters amid uncertainty, renewed ire with NFL owners

Several owners and the NFL declined to comment. The committee meetings were held less than three weeks ahead of the next full owners’ meeting, which is scheduled to begin March 26 in Phoenix. Not all owners attended the committee meetings.

Members of the owners’ finance committee discussed the sale of the Commanders, two people who attended the meetings said. But the league and the owners have received little feedback from Daniel Snyder about the specifics of the bidding process, those people said.

The Commanders announced in November that the Snyders had hired Bank of America to consider potential transactions for the franchise. The team has not said whether they plan to sell all or part of the franchise.

The group of potential buyers includes Josh Harris, the owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils; Tilman Fertitta, the owner of the NBA’s Houston Rockets; and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post. A person familiar with the bidding said last week that Daniel Snyder had, to that point, rebuffed all efforts by Bezos to enter the bidding because of his disdain for The Post’s coverage of him and the team. It was not clear, the person said, whether Snyder eventually might consider a bid by Bezos.

Daniel Snyder’s demands anger NFL owners, renew talk of voting him out

Some owners would like to have clarity on the sale by the Phoenix meeting and continue to hope that Snyder can be convinced to include Bezos among the bidders, sell his team voluntarily and leave the NFL without further conflict, some of the people who attended the meetings said.

But another person said Snyder’s desire to be indemnified against future legal liability and costs remains a major issue. If the league and other NFL owners won’t provide such indemnification, Snyder would be satisfied if a prospective buyer would, that person said. But the demand threatens to keep a sale from occurring, said that person, who predicted the deliberations over the process could continue into the summer or even into the fall.

The owners will not move toward a vote to remove Snyder at the March meeting, the person said. Such a maneuver by the owners to force Snyder to sell his team would require the approval of at least three-quarters of the owners.